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THE CRIPPLE, WITH A CROWN ON, SITS IN A CAVE.
A FAIRY TALE.
BY LOUISA KNATCHBULL-HUGESSEN.
WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY W. WIEGAND.
[All rights reserved.]
PRiITED BY TAYLOR AND CO.,
LITTLE QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE CRIPPLE, WITH A CROWN ON, SITS IN A
CAVE . . Frontispiece
PERRYPETS SEES THE FIRE-MAN STANDING ON
THE TOP OF THE HIGHEST CHIMNEY .. 3
FOR ONE NIGHT IN EVERY YEAR, THE SMALL
ANIMALS GROW LARGE, AND THE LARGE
ONES SMALL . . IO
THE OLD FLOWER-MAN SEIZES PERRYPETS, AND
DRAGS HIM INTO THE TREE . .. 13
MOTHER HAIL MAKES TWENTY-FOUR DREADFUL
FACES AT PERRYPETS, ALL QUITE DIFFERENT
FROM ONE ANOTHER . .. 22
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PERRYPETS GOES THROUGH THE AIR ON THE
BACKS OF FIVE HUNDRED SERPENTS 25
THE MANIKINS PUT PERRYPETS INTO A DEEP POT 36
THE CANARY BIRD PECKS A HOLE IN THE MOUN-
TAIN FOR PERRYPETS AND THE MANIKIN 39
TRUE AND WONDERFUL HISTORY
THERE was once a little boy whose father and mother
were very rich. But it happened that they lost all their
money, so they went away into a country a great way off,
to try to get more. After travelling about for some
time, they settled down in a very small house in the
middle of a large forest. Nobody had lived in this
house for many years, because it was so far from any
other house. The little boy did not like it at all. He
was frightened at the dark trees, which grew quite close
to the windows; and when he was sent out walking with
his little brothers and sisters, he used to wish they might
go into pleasant meadows, and on green hills, for he
was tired of the dark heavy trees, which never let him
see one bit of the beautiful blue sky and bright sun.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
One day he was out walking, and longing to be once
more in his own English home, when he heard a little
cry close behind him. He looked round, and saw a
little girl sitting on some green moss and crying bitterly.
"What is the matter, little girl?" said he.
Oh," said the child, I am so hungry; I have had
nothing to eat to-day."
Little Perrypets-for that was the little boy's name-
was just beginning to eat a large slice of bread-and-
butter, which had been given him for his breakfast;
but he was so sorry for the girl, that he gave it all
to her. Then he ran after his little brothers and sisters.
Now you must remember about this bread-and-butter
and the little girl, for it has a great deal to do with the
wonderful story I am going to tell you.
A few nights after this, little Perrypets was in bed,
fast asleep, when all of a sudden he awoke without
knowing why. The room was very hot, and every
moment it grew hotter. At last he could hardly
breathe, and he jumped out of bed and put on his
clothes as fast as he could. Just as he was dressed,
the door burst open and a man tumbled into the room.
But not a man like other men. No! he was all made
of fire; and as he rolled towards Perrypets, everything
he touched shrivelled up and was burnt quite away.
The carpet on which he walked, the table, the chairs,
the children's clothes, nurse's cap and gown,-every-
PERRYPETS SEES THN FIRE-MAN STANDING ON TUil'; TOP OF THE
HISTORY O, PERRYPETS.
thing was burnt. Perrypets did not wait for the man
to touch him; he slipped out at the door, ran down-
stairs, opened a small window in the passage, and
jumped out into the black dark forest.
Poor little Perrypets!' all alone in the black dark
forest! But he was so frightened at the thoughts of
the Fire Man, that he forgot his fear of the great
trees, and he ran on quite fast, without stopping to
take breath for a long time. At last he did stop to
look back, and then he saw that flames were coming
out of his father's house. On the top of the highest
chimney stood the Red Fire Man, with streams of
fire pouring from his eyes and mouth, jumping from
his hands, darting from his feet, and shooting high up
from the top of his head.
Off ran little Perrypets faster than ever, with a shriek
and a howl which startled the rabbits in the fern and
the birds in the trees, and made them all ask one another
what could have happened to the silly mortals.
Off ran little Perrypets into the very thickest part
of the great forest. On, on, on he ran, till he was
quite tired, and then he fell down under a big tree and
went fast asleep.
How long he slept he never knew, but when he
woke it was still night, and the moon was shining
brightly,-so brightly, that it was light as day,-and
he looked up, wondering where he could be, and quite
4 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
surprised not to find himself in his own little bed.
Then he remembered what had happened, and with a
little cry he sat quite upright and looked about him,
ready to burst out into a howl of grief, cold, hunger,
and fright; but he saw something that stopped his
tears, and made his little face grow long with surprise,
instead of puckering itself up into a crying face. He
quite well remembered lying down under a tree the
night before. Well, do you know, that tree was
You will think that, in his sleep, he had rolled away
from under its friendly shelter; or perhaps you will
think that a woodcutter had taken it away in the night;
or even a giant or a fairy; but something more won-
derful still had happened.
The tree had walked off by itself; and there it stood
a few paces off, stretching its big arms and yawning
prodigiously, as it talked to another tree rather smaller
than itself. This other tree was more wonderful still,
for it had a crown of some shining thing on its head,
and shining things all over it, like a young lady dressed
for a ball. As it stood, it bent gracefully forward till
its branches swept the ground, and then suddenly it
raised and threw them back with an air of pride. And
then, oh wonder of wonders! the big tree put its arm
round the small tree's waist, and off they went together,
dancing round and round, and round and round.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 5
Little Perrypets opened his eyes very wide indeed,
with astonishment. Could he be dreaming? No. He
rubbed his eyes till they were red, and he pinched his
plump cheek till it was black and blue, and he was quite
sure that he was awake, and that two trees were waltzing
before his eyes. Two trees! There were twenty-fifty
-a hundred-a thousand perhaps, most of them dancing
round and round. Some very old ones were sitting
down, nodding their heads together and whispering
mysteriously; some were standing apart, leaning their
heads against the mountains, and looking on with their
great arms crossed before them. Most of these were
proud, disagreeable trees, seeming as if they thought a
great deal of themselves, and nothing at all of anybody
else. Some were shy, however, and tried to shrink out
of sight; and if any very fine tree, covered with shining
things, stopped to speak to them, they let their leaves
blow all over their faces, and seemed so confused that
they hardly knew what to do with their branches, which
hung down very awkwardly.
One very shy young Oak seemed to be a great favour-
ite with the fine trees; but he was always catching his
roots or his branches in their ornaments, and tearing them
off. He seemed quite miserable with fright when he did
this. Perrypets watched a big Elm, covered with shining
things, lead this young Oak up to a very young Elm.
The large Elm waved one branch, and the little Elm
6 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
bowed her head, and the Oak bowed very low indeed,
and off they went together to dance.
Presently they came close to Perrypets,-so close that
one of the Oak's roots caught in his little leg, and hurt
him. Perrypets cried out.
"What was that ?" said the pretty Elm in a sweet
What was that ? said the deep low voice of the Oak,
like an echo.
"A little child," sighed the Elm, as her eyes fell on
A mortal!" said the Oak. "How came he
Perrypets thought he had never heard such sweet
soothing voices. Both trees came up to him; the kind
Elm took him up in her arms, and bent down to kiss his
The King of the Oaks will kill him if he finds him
here to-night," said the young Oak.
A tear dropped from the sweet Elm on Perrypets' face
as he lay quite still in her arms.
"You will save him," said she, as she raised her head
to her companion.
But how ? said he. She made no answer, only her
branches drooped lower and lower over the boy.
Is there no vacant star ? said she at length, in her
low, silvery tones.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
"You are right," said he; "the star Orphanerus, last
night discovered by the sage Mystery, who lives in my
father's house. It lies far in among the nebulae; but it
is empty yet, and I think I can reach it."
With that he took Perrypets in his long arms, and
standing on tiptoe, he lifted him up to the sky, and put
him into the empty star.
Perrypets was so astonished that he did not move
or speak, but only sat down just inside the star, where
the Oak had placed him. He looked down on the
wonderful scene below. He could see it better now
that he was so high up; and very strange and wonderful
After a time he saw the shy young Oak looking up at
him, and then the great arm was raised once more, and
somebody else was put into the star.
Hollo!" thought Perrypets; and I suppose he said
it loud, for another small voice answered, Hollo to you,
my fine fellow!"
Perrypets rubbed the star-mist from his eyes, and he
saw a very small Oak sitting by his side, kicking his tiny
roots down over the edge.
Who are you ?" said Perrypets.
"Who are you ?" said the child Oak.
"I'm a boy," said Perrypets.
"I'm another," said the Oak.
"No, you're not," said Perrypets, doubling his fist,
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
and hitting the Oak in the face. "If you were a boy,
Up jumped the Oak, and made such a rush at Perry-
pets that they nearly tumbled out of the star together.
With that they fell to kicking and fighting, till at last
the Oak got Perrypets down on his back, and sat down
upon him, flapping his leaves in Perrypets' face.
"Hollo!" said the Oak.
Hollo!" said Perrypets faintly.
"What am I ?" said the Oak.
"A boy," said Perrypets.
"That's it," said the Oak. I'm a boy-tree, and you're
a boy-man; so get up and be friends."
With that he got off Perrypets, and held out his
branches to shake hands; and then they sat down to-
gether on the edge of the star, and Perrypets began to
The little Oak told him that it was a great feast-day
in the forest, and that the dancing would go on till the
sun rose. He said too that the Oak who had put them
both in the star was his eldest brother, and that the king
of the forest was their father.
What are those shining things twisted round some
of the trees ?" asked Perrypets.
"Oh, don't you know?" said the Oak. "Those are
windows and chimneys, and all sorts of things out of the
houses of mortals. The lady-trees buy them of pedlar-
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
trees, who go and steal them in the night, while you
sleep, and put them back in the day. See, there is an
old lady Elm with no less than six pokers in her back
branches, and another with a brass fender across her head,
and a gilt armchair behind it." And both the boy-oak
and the boy-man laughed heartily as the old Elm
waddled past them, waving a large sheet in her front
branches as if it were a pocket-handkerchief, and trying
to look as like a mortal as possible.
Silly old thing ? said Perrypets. "Why can't she
be a tree ? Why, she is quite a beautiful tree. Look at
the moss growing up her old trunk."
"She wouldn't thank you for finding that out. Why,
she spends hours in pulling it off, that she may look
young; and I know she nearly worries her maid, the
orphan daughter of a blackberry bush, to death about it.
They are always trying to be young or like mortals."
"Well, I'd rather be a beautiful tree. Oh-oh-hollo !
-oh dear!-what's the matter with my ear?" screamed
Perrypets; and he put his hand up to his head, for he
felt one of his ears growing cold and stiff. Imagine his
horror at finding a little twig covered with leaves in the
place where his ear used to grow. Oh dear, oh dear,
what has happened to me ?" said he, turning to the Oak,
who lay kicking and screaming with laughter so close to
the edge of the star that it was a wonder he did not fall
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
O-o-o-o-o-o- i" screamed the Oak, "Why,
don't you know that as long as you live with us, you
have only to wish to be like us, and a small bit of you
will grow into a branch directly? Wish it three times
and you'll be a tree."
Little Perrypets began to cry, and I dare say
he would have cried for a long time, only another
very odd thing happened, and he sat up to look about
The dancing stopped, and all the trees stood on each
side, leaving a space between them. Into this space
came a great many wonderful animals-such odd ones !
Perrypets had never seen such odd ones before. There
were some mice as large as tigers, and tigers as small as
mice; tiny cows and horses about the size of rats, and
rats as big as elephants; small elephants and enormous
sheep; dogs and cats as big as your little finger,-in
short, all the animals you ever heard of, only larger or
"Ah said the little Oak, sitting up; now we shall
have some fun." And he told Perrypets that for one
night in every year the small animals grow large, and the
large ones small.
You see," said he, "it is not quite fair, when
you come to think of it, that dogs should always have
the fun of hunting rats, and horses of running after
foxes, so for this one night the rats and foxes will have a
FOR ONE NIGHT IN EVERY YEAR TEE SMALL ANIMALS G-OW
LARGE, AND THE LARGE ONEiS MAL.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
And so it was. Perrypets saw a great fox as big as a
horse galloping along after horses no bigger than mice,
and frightening them out of their wits. Then a sheep
came by, worrying a dog; and it was followed by a large
Newfoundland rat, carrying a dog in its mouth; and then
came two rabbits after another dog.
Little Perrypets did not like it at all, and at last he
curled himself up in his star, and went fast asleep.
When he awoke, it was next day. He peeped
out and saw all the trees standing in their places,
looking as if they had never danced, or talked, or
laughed. Only Perrypets could now see that when
mortals believe that the wind is blowing them
about, they are really moving of their own will, and
often bending their heads together to whisper. Perry-
pets staid all that day in his star. When the sun was
gone down, the trees began to walk about again. There
was no more dancing that night however. The young
Oak came very soon, and lifting his little brother and
Perrypets out of the star, gave Perrypets some acorns,
and told him to run about and amuse himself.
Well, if I am to tell you all the adventures of Perry-
pets, I must not waste any more time among the trees.
He led a very happy life as long as he was with them.
He slept in the star all night, and wandered about all day,
talking to the young trees, and learning their games, or
hearing wonderful stories from the old ones. You see,
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
as one of his ears was a twig, he could understand the
tree language quite well.
At last one day he wandered quite away from his chief
friends, and lost himself among some rocks. He sat
down and amused himself for some time by doing an
acorn sum which had been set for him by one of the
Oaks. When he had finished that, he said over his
oak-apple dates, and then he settled to go to sleep.
He looked about for a safe place, and he saw a very
large tree, with great knobs on its trunk. He went up
to it, and asked if it were going to walk about, or
whether he might rest in its branches. The tree laughed
and said, No, I am not going out; and you may
climb up if you like; only just touch the first ten
knobs on my trunk, there's a good boy. They've been
aching this four hundred years ; and there's nothing so
good for the knob-ache as the touch of a mortal's hand."
Perrypets obeyed, and carefully stroked the knobs.
"A little harder," said the tree; "harder, my boy,
harder." And Perrypets pressed the tenth knob with
all his strength. The old tree gave a chuckle as the
knob flew back like a door.
"Thank'ee, my boy, thank'ee," said he shaking his
old branches with delight. "Now go in at that door,
and you'll be paid."
Perrypets was so frightened that he tried to run away;
but the tree held him. Meantime he heard a noise:
TIHE OLD FLOWER-PMAN SEIZES PERRYPETS AND DR%.GS HIM
INTO TEIH TREE.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 13
inside the trunk, as if somebody were coming upstairs,
groaning and talking all the time.
Presently a very little Old Man stood in the small
doorway, and looked about The moment he saw
Perrypets, he seized him by the hair, and dragged him
through the door, which shut with a noise like thunder:
Down they went-such a narrow staircase! and Perry*
pets fancied he heard the tree shaking with laughter
At last they stopped to rest for a few minutes, and the
Old Man made some very curious faces, not exactly at
Perrypets, but rather more to himself. They were not
ugly faces, only odd. One was like a faded primrose;
another was the image of an old periwinkle; and the
third was exactly like a worn-out dog-rose. Presently
the Old Man said quickly-
Take your eye out."
"Please, Sir, it doesn't come out," said Perrypets,
trembling all over,
"Yes, it does," said the Old Man; "you know it
does; it ties behind."
Perrypets put his hand up to his head, and he really
found a bow of ribbon behind it.
"Well, why don't you untie it ?" said the Old Man.
"Please, Sir, perhaps I could not tie it again," said
"Ferns and grasses said the Old Man; "why, it will
14 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
tie itself, of course. Here, take your eye out,-the left
eye, mind, and put it in this hole."
And Perrypets did so. He untied the string, and, to
his surprise, his left eye came out quite easily. He put
it into the hole, and what do you think he saw? He
saw what seemed to be the inside of one of the knobs of
the tree. It was very large for a knob, and was polished
quite bright inside. You know polished oak is very
dark and very pretty.
There were heaps of beautiful flowers all about, and in
the very middle sat a little girl,-oh, such a pretty little
girl, with a fresh fair baby face, and little dimpled hands !
She was making flowers; not wax flowers, or paper
flowers, or linen flowers, or any false flowers at all, but
real ones, such as you see growing in the woods, and
lanes, and fields. She was singing gently to herself as
her nimble fingers were at work. As soon as she had
finished a flower, she bent over it and lightly touched it
with her eyelashes, and then the colour came into its
pale face; and her eyelashes left all those faint delicate
tracings and lines which you find in flowers.
Presently the Old Man took Perrypets' eye out of the
hole, and pushed it back into his head; whereupon it
went in with a snap, and the ribbons at the back tied
themselves very neatly.
'" Now come on," said the Old Man. Take off your
HISTORY OF PERRYPEIS.
"Please, Sir, they don't come off," said Perrypets.
"Crocuses and daisies! but they do," screamed the
Old Man in a passion. "Stoop down and pull them
Perrypets did so, although he was nearly dead with
fright. To his great surprise his legs came out quite
easily, and it did not hurt at all, though it certainty felt
rather odd having no legs.
The Old Man seized them and pushed them through
the hole, and then he took off his own legs and pushed
them in too. And at the same moment Perrypets found
himself standing close to the girl.
"Put on your legs," said the Old Man.
Perrypets did so.
"Thorns and brambles!" said the Old Man, "I've
found a boy at last."
The little girl looked up and smiled, and Perrypets
saw that her face was just like a very pale Forget-me-
"Do you think he'll do ?' asked the Old Man.
"Well, you know, he is rather big," said Forget-me-
not, putting her pretty head on one side and looking at
Perrypets doubtfully. Still, I think, we might fold him
up smaller. Look here I will just try. Like this,"-
and she jumped up and folded his head down, and
doubled his chest over with a crease in the middle. It
was very odd, but certainly it did not hurt at all; and
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Perrypets began to think that there must be a good
many hinges about us which we have not found out yet.
"I think he'll do now," said the girl, stepping back
and looking at him.
"Lillies and dog-roses! so do I," said the Old Man.
"Let's have tea."
The little girl touched the flowers with the tips of her
fingers, and they all got up and ran out of the way.
Then she sang, in a low pretty voice,
The Ladye Fern to the Ladye Fair,
Dewdrops and cups of the Maidenhair."
A large Fern immediately walked up and placed
itself like a table in the middle in the floor, while two
neat Daisies in print gowns, with caps and white aprons,
put out some tiny cups and saucers of maidenhair.
The Old Man, and the little Forget-me-not Girl, and
Perrypets sat down to tea.
Will you have some traveller's-joy tea?" said For-
me-not to Perrypets. "And shall I give you a slice of
St. John's-wort bread, or would you rather have some
fern jam and dewdrops ? "
Perrypets chose the tea and bread; and really, do
you know, they were rather good, only he could not
"There will be no need to double me up in the middle
like this, or even to take my legs out, if they mean
to starve me," thought Perrypets.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 17
Just then he saw little Forget-me-not looking at
him very earnestly.
Why, I really think you are the boy," said she.
"Are you a boy ? "
Of course I am. Any fellow can see that."
"But you are the bread boy said she joyfully.
"No, I am not," said he rather angrily, for he
thought she meant that he was the baker's boy. My
father is a gentleman, and he eats bread; he doesn't
sell it or buy it either, for the matter of that. It just
comes up to breakfast, and dinner, and tea; and if
we want more, we only ring and it comes."
, Forget-me-not did not answer, but she took Perrypets
by the eyebrows and made him run along with her.
As they ran, Perrypets felt his head falling lower and
lower, and at last it slipped down to his feet, and his feet
curled themselves up, and he found that he was running
on his nose; but still it was very comfortable, and
not at all difficult, when once he got into the way of
it; his nose seemed rather to like it. Perrypets was
sure his nose did like it, because he heard it laughing
so very loud. When they stopped, he was standing on
his legs again. Forget-me-not pointed to something
very large, nearly as large as a house; somehow it
looked very like bread-and-butter, and it tasted very
like bread-and-butter too, for Forget-me-not broke off
a piece and gave it to Perrypets.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
"There," said she; "that is the slice of bread-and-
butter you gave me when I pretended to cry of hunger.
I wanted to see if you were a kind little boy. I could
not really eat your food, you know, for I only live on
flowers and their juices and smells, but I kept this and
I have made it grow, and now you shall have a bit
And so he had, for Perrypets staid some time with
the little Flower Fairy. And what do you think he had
to do ? Why, every night when you were in bed, fast
asleep, the Old Man took Perrypets out into the forest,
and into the fields and lanes, and they spread out all
the ferns, and grasses, and beautiful wild flowers. Every
night they took out some fresh ones, and besides that,
they had to look at all those that had been put out
before. I dare say you have always thought that wild
flowers grow alone, but now you know that they are
made by a little fairy, who lives deep, deep down in
a tree, and that an old fairy man takes care of them and
puts them out every night.
Sometimes Perrypets had to carry some of the flowers,
if they were weak or tired, but generally they all ran
by his side. If you had been out in the forest at that
time, you might have met a whole crowd of daisies,
periwinkles, violets, ferns, grasses, and cowslips, running
merrily along with Perrypets and the Old Man in the
middle of them.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
This went on for some time, and Perrypets was very
happy. Every day he had a large piece of bread-and-
butter from his own slice, and every day a very grave
old Dandelion came for ten minutes to teach him the
language of flowers, and he really began to talk it rather
At last, one night as he was very busy fresh painting
the leaf of a daisy with one of Forget-me-not's eyelashes,
which he always took out with him, he heard the Old
Man cry out-
Oh, run oh, run Brambles and buttercups Oh,
run oh, run! Here comes old Mother Hail!"
Instead of running, Perrypets dropped the eyelash
and stood quite still, looking round in a great fright.
He saw a very large face running along the ground;
it seemed to have no body, but it ran and bumped
over all the roots and stones as if it were great fun. It
had two hands where its ears ought to have been,
and it began to pelt Perrypets and his flowers till
they all fell down together. It then came up to him,
took him up and shook him, and looked in his face,
and Perrypets saw that it was made of hailstones. It
put him upright on his head, and bent his knees back
till he looked rather like a wheelbarrow. Indeed, he
really thought he must be a wheelbarrow, for the Hail
Face took hold of his boots and pushed him along
very fast, and he rolled along on his head beautifully.
20 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Presently they stopped, and Perrypets stumbled over
and sat up to look round. He was alone in a large
cave, very cold and rather dark; there was a fence
in front of it. I'll soon climb that," said Perrypets,
and he ran to it. But alas! it was all made of ice,
and it was so slippery that he could not get hold of
it. While he was still trying and slipping back, the
Hail Face appeared again close to him.
Get my breakfast directly," said the Face.
"What will you have, Ma'am ?" said Perrypets in a
"Buttercupped icicles, frozen grass, and periwinkled
snow," said the Face.
Perrypets looked round. He saw nothing but snow
and ice, hailstones and icicles everywhere.
At last he found a few faded flowers in one corner.
He took them up, and immediately some icicles ran up
to him, and held themselves up to be rubbed. He
rubbed them with the flowers; and then he scraped some
ice over a dish of grass, and mashed up some snow
and periwinkles. He spread it all out, and said very
"Breakfast's on the ice, Ma'am, if you please," for he
had put it out on an ice table which stood in the cave.
The Face sat down to breakfast. At the first mouth-
ful it made a dreadful face; at the second it jumped very
high in the air; and at the third it gave a terrible scream,
and began to pelt Perrypets again.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Poor Perrypets! He was so thoroughly tired out and
frightened that he sat down, and began to say the dates
of the kings of England as fast as he could. Before he
had finished Henry VIII., the Face-who, by the bye,
was called Mother Hail-ran away.
At this moment, a voice whispered in Perrypets' ear-
He that would work in slippery ice,
Must take two hairs from tails of mice."
And as he looked round, a little brown mouse walked
up to him, and sitting on its hind legs, presented its tail
to him, with a smile and a low bow.
Perrypets carefully pulled out two little hairs, and the
mouse shook hands with him, saying that she thought
his hair was too long, and ran off. He looked at the
two little hairs, and wondered what he ought to do with
them. While he was wondering, he found that all the
faded flowers, and a good many bits of ice and snow,
were standing before him, making the most beautiful
bows and curtseys. He put out his hand, and stroked
them all with the mouse's hairs. They began instantly
to mix themselves up together. One tall icicle fetched
some cups and saucers, and very soon a very fine break-
fast was ready. There was all Mother Hail had ordered,
and a good deal more.
Presently Mother Hail came in. She seemed much
pleased at what she saw; and she danced three times
22 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
round the table on her right ear before she sat down.
She ate a great deal; and when she had done, she made
twenty-four dreadful faces at Perrypets (all quite different
from one another), and took off his head. She looked
inside it for some time; took out his eyes from the in-
side, and put them in again upside down; twisted all his
poor little ideas together, and fastened a sharp stick into
them. Then she put his head on again. Perrypets
found he could see just as well, so he did not much
Mother Hail now led him into a dark corner, and
threw him on to a bed of hailstones, drawing a sheet of
ice over him. She tucked it up all round him, and told
him to go to sleep. Do you suppose he could sleep ?
Could you, do you think, if your bed was of hail, and
the sheets of wet ice? Perrypets could not. He lay
still and shivered, and watched to see what Mother Hail
It was a long time before he could make out. First
of all, he could see now that she had a very small body,
only her face grew quite low down, and hid it all. He
watched her running round and round and round in a
very small circle, tearing out her eyes and her nose, her
lips and her cheeks, and throwing them on the ground.
She really was pulling herself to pieces; but it didn't
seem to make much difference to her, for new eyes and
noses and lips and cheeks grew directly in the places of
MOTHEf'J HATIL MAKES TWENTY-FOUR DREADFUL FACES AT
PERRYPETS, ALL QUTTE DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER.
'\N.Nq IF GAN D7
O AA EE TWENY-FOU E U
PERRYPFTS,/ ALI QUT D"F R N '"-- --- ONE ANOT'^ T -" ER,.-
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
the others. At last there was quite a large heap of hail-
stones in the cave, for of course you know that Mother
Hail's eyes and nose and lips and cheeks were all hail-
When the heap was very large indeed, she stopped
running, and began to spring up and down very slowly,
singing in a horrid cracked voice,-
"My shiny, sweet, and hissing love,
The storm is ready for above."
Then she stood still, and for a moment everything was
quite quiet, and Perrypets only heard his own eyes
chattering and shaking with fear.
At last he saw some small red balls coming from the
darkest pact of the cave. "They came nearer and nearer,
flashing fire as they came on; and there was a sound of
hissing, very faint at first, but growing louder and
louder. Nearer and nearer came the balls of fire; and
now Perrypets saw a great many thousand serpents with
red eyes and spotted skins coming gliding towards the
Face. When they were very near, she held out one of
her teeth, and they all stopped. In the first row there
were five hundred serpents, and they glided so evenly
together that their backs made a sort of table. On this
table was a large basket of toads' skins. In the second
row there were five hundred more serpents, with another
basket; and behind them came a great many more rows,
each of five hundred.
24 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Old Mother Hail now touched the heap of hailstones
with the tooth, which she still held in her hand, and
they ran and fitted themselves into the toadskin baskets,
till all the baskets were quite full. Then Mother Hail
sang, in her cracked voice-
"And now, sweet chicks, set off and fly,
To do your duty in the sky."
But the serpents answered all together, in one voice-
"No mortal's heart is in the ring,
To make the hailstones duly sting."
The Face gave a very high jump up into the air
when she heard this, and then she ran up to Perrypets,
and hissed in his ear-
"Take out your heart! "
"Please, Ma'am, I don't think it comes out," said
Perrypets, trembling so much that he shook the whole
cave, and all the serpents too, and their baskets, till some
of the hailstones fell out.
"Unbutton your heart this moment!" hissed the
Face; and she actually bit off a piece of his ear. Luckily,
it was the twig ear, so he felt sure it would grow again.
Unbutton your heart, and give it to me," repeated
Perrypets put his little hand up to his head, and felt
for a button, and the serpents hissed very loud indeed.
Please, Ma'am, I really don't think I know where
my heart is," said Perrypets, for he could find no
PERRYPEI'S GOES TEHIRO ,G TITE AIR OH THE BACKS OF FIVE
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
button. I thought, please Ma'am, it was in my head,
for I am quite sure I am always glad and sorry in my
head, but I can't find it."
"Silly, silly," said Mother Hail; here's the button !"
and she put her icy hand on his left side. Sure enough,
there was a large button, marked with a "P." for
Perrypets. He undid it directly, and Mother Hail took
out his heart, and shut the doors, and buttoned them
Then the serpents stopped hissing; Mother Hail
squeezed Perrypets' heart into the baskets, a few drops
into each, singing as she did so-
"Bitter stinging, bitter take
From a mortal's heart the ache."
The serpents answered-
Mortal hands could quickly turn,
When our eyes would only burn."
On hearing this, Mother Hail seized Perrypets by
the ear, and put him on the handle of the first basket.
Off set the serpents flying up into the air. It was
pitch-dark. Can you fancy anything more dreadful?
There sat Perrypets, on the handle of a toadskin basket
full of hailstones, fixed on the backs of five hundred
serpents, flying through the air faster than you ever
went in your lives, even in a railway carriage. For
some time he did not dare to look round, for it was all
26 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
he could do to keep his seat. He was obliged to fix
his eyes steadily on the hailstones and the achings from
his own little heart, which were inside the basket. After
a time, however, he ventured to look down, and then
he saw all the world underneath him. He saw his
old friends the trees walking about, and talking to
one another. He saw towns and villages, and houses
and gardens. He saw a railway train dashing along
through the country, and he wondered if any little boys
were in it, on their way to school, perhaps, crying and
thinking themselves very unhappy. He wished he were
going to school too, and he was quite sure nobody could
be as unhappy and as frightened as he was on the
handle of his basket. At last they were so high up
that the lights from the world disappeared, and then
all was black darkness, unless he looked back to the
red flaming eyes of the serpents behind him. He only
did that once, though; for as he turned, his head fell
off. Luckily, he caught it in one hand, and clapped it
on again directly.
At last there was a great hiss, and they stopped.
Perrypets looked round very carefully. As far as he
could see, before him, behind him, all round him,
above him, below him, were rows and rows of ser-
pents, all with baskets of toadskins on their backs, all
with eyes of flaming fire. In fact, it was only by the
light of their eyes that he could see them, for there was
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 27
no other light. Everything was quite quiet for a
moment, and then the serpents began to sing in a loud
"H ail and storm, and storm and hail,
He's a serpent if he fail."
And Perrypets found that all their eyes, all those thou-
sands, thousands of fiery eyes, were fixed on him. It
was quite plain that they expected him to do something,
but he did not know what. He was dreadfully frightened,
for the serpents were hissing louder than ever, and the
sparks from their eyes were making his hair burn. Just
then a voice said in his ear-
Step back quickly on their tail,
Off goes basket, down goes hail."
Perrypets slipped off the basket directly, and came
down on the backs of the serpents. As he fell he
kicked over his own basket, and all the others fell over
at the same moment, and the hail and his own heart-
achings began to patter down on the earth below. So
now you all know how hail is made, and how it comes
down. You know, too, that those black clouds which
we see before hailstorms are not really clouds, but
thousands of serpents carrying the hail up. And perhaps
some of you remember that if hail comes in your faces,
it will make them smart and sting. You have now
learnt that the way hail is made to sting is by squeezing
a mortal's heart into it.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Well, as soon as the baskets were empty, the serpents
flew down again to the cave, with Perrypets rolling about
on their backs. By the time they stopped, he was
rolled quite up like a ball. Mother Hail seemed rather
surprised to see him, and called to him to get up.
Please Ma'am, I can't," said Perrypets. "I think
I must be a hedgehog, I'm rolled up so tight."
Nonsense! said Mother Hail. Roll yourself out.
Here, put out your nose, and I'll pull you out."
Perrypets with great difficulty put out one boot.
"Silly!" said Mother Hail; "that's a foot, not a
"Oh, is it?" said Perrypets. I'm sure I beg your
pardon, but I can't find my nose to-day. It must have
gone out for a walk, I think."
With that Mother Hail seized a kitchen roller, and
stamping upon Perrypets with one foot, she rolled him
out quite flat, and put him upon his legs.
Thank you, Ma'am, I feel better now, considering
all I've gone through," said Perrypets, with a low bow.
Mother Hail now took him into another cave. It"
was quite full of straw, and she desired him to clear it
all out. As soon as she was gone Perrypets set to work,
but as fast as he threw the straw down outside, it got up,
laughed in his face, and ran back again. It was no
good going on like this, you know, so Perrypets sat
down and began to cry, which was perhaps the best
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
thing he could have done. For while he was crying, he
heard a little pattering noise, and on looking up he saw all
his tears running alone, as fast as their little feet could
carry them, into the cave; they ran round the straw
and pushed it all out, without paying any attention to
its screams and groans, or to the faces it made.
Soon after this, Mother Hail came back. She seemed
much surprised to find that Perrypets had been able to
do what she had ordered. She took out three of his
teeth, and put him back into his ice-bed. She herself
plunged into a heap of snow, in which she always slept,
and for a time all was still. I think Perrypets slept a
little. In the morning he felt something warm on his
ear, and he saw a beautiful Sunbeam coming through a
hole in the rock; it passed along to where Mother Hail
was sleeping, and it settled just on the tip of her fore-
head, which was the only part of her to be seen above
the snow. The snow began to melt, and Mother Hail
began to groan. When all the snow was gone, Mother
Hail tossed about on the floor like a dying fish. She
gave a croak and a bump; then she turned round on
her nose, round and round and round, quite fast; then
she turned on her ears, and plumped over on her back.
And all the time the Sunbeam played steadily on her
face, and she grew smaller and smaller, and at last she
melted quite away.
The first thing Perrypets did was to try to get out of
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
the cave. In this the kind Sunbeam helped him, for as
soon as it had melted Mother Hail, it went to the fence
and melted that too. Now," thought Perrypets, "I
am free." But, alas! he was disappointed, for when the
fence was gone, there was a great mountain of snow.
What was he to do ? He was standing still, wondering
if it would be a good plan to cry, and see if his tears
would wash away the snow as they had washed away the
straw, when the same voice said close to him-
He who can a sunbeam ride
Will see the snow both melt and hide."
Perrypets jumped on the Sunbeam directly, and giv-
ing it a kick with his little boot, and a pat with his little
hand, he rode it straight at the snow mountain. He
went at it so fast, that in one moment all the snow
melted and disappeared, and he found himself once more
in the beautiful forest.
But lie almost wished himself back again in the cave,
for though he had found it very easy to get on the Sun-
beam, it was by no means so easy to get off. The
Sunbeam was very young and very gay, and it danced
about and darted from leaf to leaf, and from tree to tree,
and even dashed against the mountains, hurting Perry-
pets very much indeed, and making him wish himself
anywhere else. He could have fallen off very easily,
rather too easily I may say; but he was afraid of hurting
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
himself. It took him a long way-to towns and villages,
into the blacks and soots of the chimneys, and into
ponds and rivers. Poor Perrypets! You see his ice-bed
had made him cold and wet, and he was now thoroughly
uncomfortable. The wicked Sunbeam ran on with him
till it got to the end of the world.
Perrypets was just thinking to himself, "Oh, what
would my papa and mamma say, if they knew that I
was riding over their heads on a wild young Sunbeam ?"
when all of a sudden it struck against the end of the
Well, it so happened that they were just fastening up
a fine large Rainbow. One end was quite fast, but the
other was being held down and fastened in, when the
Sunbeam and Perrypets came against it with all their
might. Out came the fastenings, over fell the people
who were putting them in, and up flew the end of the
Rainbow, swinging backwards and forwards over the
And what was more wonderful, Perrypets went with it,
for he happened to catch hold of it with both his little
arms just as the Sunbeam hit it; so the Sunbeam went
.off without him, and he swung on with the Rainbow.
"This is worse than ever," thought Perrypets, as he
swung violently backwards and forwards from one end of
the map of the world to "the other, kicking his heels,
whether he liked it or not; I can't stand this long. I
know I shall drop."
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
But, however, he did not, for very soon the Rainbow
stopped swinging, and rested against a mountain.
"Oh dear oh dear! sighed the Rainbow. "That
was a blow. My purple aches like anything; and the
yellow and green are quite numbed with pain."
I'm sure I'm very sorry," said Perrypets, half crying,
for he really was quite giddy with so much swinging;
and besides, he had nothing at all to stand on even,
now; for the mountain was so steep that there was only
just room for the Rainbow to rest on it, and none at all
"I'm sure I'm very sorry, but I really don't see how I
could help it," said Perrypets again, for the Rainbow did
not seem to hear him the first time. It heard him now
though, for it gave such a start that it nearly threw him
"I say though," said Perrypets, as soon as he had
steadied himself again, "what a fellow you are I wish
you would not be so rough."
The Rainbow started again, but not quite so much.
Was that a voice ? it said.
"Well, it used to be," said Perrypets. "Down in
the world it used to be a capital voice, but it ain't much
up here, I dare say."
"Why, what are you ?" asked the Rainbow.
Oh, a boy," said Perrypets with a sigh.
"Aboy !" said the Rainbow thoughtfully. "Now, I
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
wonder what that is. Is it any relation to a star, do you
think, Aboy ?"
Why, no," said Perrypets rather doubtingly,-for
you see he had learnt a good many odd things lately;
" I don't think it is. Not that I ever heard of, certainly;
but then I don't think I quite know everything yet.
There are two or three books that my big brother
learns out of, which I am not old enough for yet. And
then, very likely I've forgotten a good deal since I have
been out by myself."
"Well, Aboy," said the Rainbow, I rather think
you had better go away if you can, for the Sun will be
here presently to read me, and he won't like to find you
Stuff and nonsense," said Perrypets, who felt very
bold, as the Rainbow was humble and gentle. Why,
the Sun never learnt to read, and there is no writing
Well, I don't know, Aboy," returned the Rainbow:
"but perhaps, by the bye, you don't know what I am.
Do you ?"
Why, a Rainbow, I suppose. What on earth are
you besides ? "
"Well, Aboy, I am nothing on earth," said the
Rainbow with a smile, "but up in the sky I am the
thoughts of the stars. They write me out at night, and
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
sometimes in the day the Sun comes and reads me. So
really, I advise you to go, Aboy ; for if he thinks you
are a blot, he might lick you up with his tongues of
fire, and I don't think you'd like that, whatever you are."
I wish you wouldn't call me 'Aboy' like that," said
Perrypets, mimicking the Rainbow's voice. I am a-
boy: that means, I am not a girl, or two boys, or a
man, or a bird, or a beast, or anything but just a sort of
boy, you know."
Oh, well, Sortofboy," said the Rainbow, "please go.
You're twisting my purple all out of shape."
I'd go, if I only knew how," returned Perrypets.
" Can't you take me down lower-to the ground, for
"I'll try," said the Rainbow, and swung itself off the
At the very first swing, it brought Perrypets much
lower, and after five hundred and fifty swings he was
safe on the ground. He nodded to the Rainbow, shook
himself, and looked round.
Here he was, once more quite free. Ah! but where
was he? Why, at the world's end, to be sure,-just
where the sky touches the earth, you know. He was
so close that he could see and even feel thd stitches that
keep the earth and sky together. He poked his little
fingers into them, and wondered what there was outside.
He poked about till he actually loosened one of the
stitches, and got his hand through.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 35
But he couldn't get it back again. There he was,
with one hand out of the world, and all the rest of his
body in it! I do think this was the oddest thing that
happened to Perrypets in all his life and adventures.
It was no use kicking and screaming. There he was,
held quite tight; and what was worse, he felt his hand
swelling; and then his arm seemed to shrink up into
his hand, and his other arm and his head followed, and
his legs too. At last he was quite swallowed up by his
own hand, and when he looked out of his eyes he could
only see his own fingers before him.
In short, Perrypets was now nothing but a very large
I say," said he to himself, this isn't at all nice.
If any fellow were to shake me now, it would be all over
with my face. Why, he'd crumple up my nose and
eyes and teeth like cinders! "
Presently somebody did touch him. He tried to
peep between his fingers, and he saw some odd little
figures walking round him. They were all dwarfs and
cripples. You know dwarfs are short, very short people,
and cripples are lame people.
Well," said one in a squeaky voice, "this is the
oddest thing they've sent us yet. I can't make it out.
I wonder if it will make into stones ?"
I think it will-let's try," squeaked another.
So they took hold of his fingers and dragged him
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
along for some way. Perrypets tried to look about
him, for he wanted to see what it was like outside the
world; but his fingers were so hard with playing at ball
at home, that he could not see much through them.
Presently the little men stopped.
Now then, pull him up, and pop him in," squeaked
And they lifted Perrypets up, and put him into a
"Now pour some scalding water over him, and put it
on the fire," said one who seemed to be in command.
Perrypets tried to scream, but his fingers were so stiff
that no sound would go through them. And he could
just see the little men bringing cans of water, and
holding them up to pour over him. And they did pour
it over him too; and he was pretty frightened, I can
tell you, when he felt it come pattering and dashing
down. Luckily the water was not hot, so he was saved
for the minute.
Let's mash him down," said one.
"No, no," said another; "he's soft enough already.
Put him on the fire."
Well, do you know, they were actually lifting up
the pot to put him on the fire, when they all began to
"Sleep! sleep! sleep!"
Just as you would cry out Fire !" if you saw a house
THE MANIKINS PUT PERRYPETS IN A DEEP POT.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
And then they all fell down, and went fast asleep
in a minute.
Perrypets could not, at first, imagine what made
them so quiet all of a sudden. He put his fore-finger
out of the water very slowly and cautiously, without
making any splashing; but only his ear was in that,
so he could not see anything.
Then he put out his second and third fingers, and
as his eyes were in those, he could see a little.
There were all the manikins fast asleep, and there
was a large heap of stones ready made, and waiting to
be sent on earth.
Perrypets now began to creep out of the pot as
quietly as he could. He, that is to say, his hand,
crawled over the sides of the pot and down to the
ground quite safely, and he was just sprawling off as
fast as he could, when he thought he might as well
put the manikins into the pot. He took them up
one after another, and threw them in. Then he put
the pot on the fire, and very soon it began to boil,
and Perrypets crawled away.
Well, he wandered about all day, but he came no-
where, and found nothing; it was all a sort of desert.
At last he came back to the place he had started
from. The pot was boiling away now, at a fine rate.
He peeped in, but it was so hot he could see nothing,
and the steam burnt him. He drew back hastily,
38 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
and as he did so one of his legs came out of his
"Hallo!" thought he. If I can get out alto-
gether it will be a good job." He leaned over the
pot again, and by degrees the steam pushed him
quite out of his hand, and he was a real boy once
more. This was much more comfortable, but still he
wished he could get back on earth; he did not half
like being alone outside the world, with only a heap
of stones and a pot of boiled manikins; but he had
to stay here some days, for though he walked about
all day long, he never could find the place where the
earth and sky joined.
One thing was very odd. Whenever he came back
to the pot he found a large piece of bread and butter,
but he never could see anybody put it there. Once
he tried to watch all day, but he fell asleep for just
one moment, and when he awoke there was the bread
Another thing was rather odd. When the fire went
out and the water was cool, he peeped into the pot to
look at the manikins, and they were all turned into
bits of stone.
Perrypets was getting very tired of this life, when one
day, just as he had finished his bread and butter, he
looked up and saw another manikin standing before
V.I CGA N -9
THE CANARY-BIRD PECKS A HOLE IN THE MOUNTAIN FOR
PERRYPETS AND THE MANTKIN.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Perrypets looked at the manikin. The manikin
looked at Perrypets. Neither of them spoke. At last
the manikin took Perrypets by the hand and led him
away without speaking a word. They went on and on
till, to Perrypets' great delight, they came to the edge
of the world again, not far from the very place where
he had got his hand through.
The manikin put his hand into his pocket and took
out a Canary Bird, which immediately pecked at the
stitches which held the earth and sky together, till it
made a large hole. Perrypets and the manikin stepped
through the hole into the world, and walked on. The
Canary Bird fastened up the hole with a needle and
thread, which happened to be walking past, and then it
flew after the manikin and jumped into his pocket.
Well," thought Perrypets, "at all events we are in
the world again, that's one comfort."
They walked on in silence till they came to a large
mountain; here the Canary Bird flew out and pecked
another hole, into which walked the manikin, still
leading Perrypets. Presently they came to a large cave,
in which sat a cripple with a crown on. Nobody spoke,
and they walked on into another cave, which was quite
full of people at work. They were the oddest people
Perrypets had ever seen, and they did not seem to be
doing any particular work, only each one took one step
forward and one step back.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
There was a man with three heads, and a boy with
six legs, and a lady with a fish's mouth, and a great
many others. They all came crowding round Perry-
pets, and began to tell him their stories, which were all
much alike. Each person seemed to have been lost in
the forest, and to have been brought to the cave by a
manikin; and to each one some task had been given,
which it had been quite impossible to do; and when
they had failed, something dreadful had happened to
each one, and they had been turned into this cave to
take one step forward and another back, for ever and
for ever. One had been told to make ropes of sand,
and as he found this impossible, his head had been
made into three; another had to make peaches of
gingerbread, and failing, had had his arms turned into
battledores and shuttlecocks; while a third was desired
to make coals into butter; and a fourth had to make
the fire-irons and fenders dance a quadrille, and were
punished by having wheels put on instead of their feet,
because they really could not do it.
The manikin waited till Perrypets had heard all their
stories, and then he led him back into the first cave,
without speaking a word.
There sat the King, with his crown on, and all round
him sat a number of little manikins. They were
dressed in robes of state, that is to say, in robes of
horses' shoes; and each one held an upright cat in his
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 41
arms. Close by the King was a large box of adders;
and he kept on putting his fingers daintily into the
box, and picking out an adder, which he immediately
swallowed, seeming to enjoy it highly.
They put Perrypets before the King, who looked at
him gravely, and said-
"Do you put your roses in water or coal-dust? "
"We put them in water, your Majesty," said Perry-
pets meekly; upon which the manikins threw their cats
into the air, and the cats stayed there for ten minutes,
dancing, and then came down again.
"He is condemned! said the King solemnly. And
a manikin got up and led Perrypets away to a cave,
where he left him alone, desiring him to make a purse
out of an ear directly, but he did not give him any ear.
Perrypets sat down in despair, for you see his own
ears were the only ones in the cave, and one of those
was a twig, if you remember. At this moment, the
same voice that he had heard before said-
He that would a silk purse make,
Twice must turn, pull out, and shake."
Perrypets jumped up, and turned himself round twice.
Then, like a silly little boy as he was, he began to pull
his hair, his nose, and his chin; but all in vain. With-
out much thinking, he scratched his ear.
"Halloo why, my ear is quite soft!" said he. He
42 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
pulled it out, and, do you know, it was turning into the
most beautiful floss silk! When he thought he had
enough, he broke it off, and there was still a good deal
of ear left-quite enough to hear with. He now shook
the silk, and it made itself into the prettiest purse you
ever saw. Perrypets hid it in his pocket just as the
manikin came back, and led him back to the King.
Little boy, now let me know,
Hast done what thou were told to do ? "
said the King. And Perrypets held up the purse.
Whereupon all the manikins fell flat on their faces,
and the King gnashed his teeth, and tore his hair.
Show us then a mighty deed,
Or unto thy fate take heed,"
said he. But his voice was faint and weak, and he began
to sink into the ground. And the manikins got up, and
then they began to sink into the ground too, and all the
cats fainted. When the King and the manikins were
about half hid in the earth, they stopped, and the cats
each opened one eye, when a voice said to Perrypets-
Swallow now this little snake,
And it shall thy fortune make "
and a hand held out one of the adders to him. But
Perrypets shuddered, and turned away.
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
Swallow, swallow, little boy,
One more pain, and then all joy,"
said the voice very earnestly; and the King and the
manikins, who had begun again to sink, stopped once
more to listen.
I can't eat it-I can't!" screamed poor Perrypets.
And as he spoke, the King and the manikins started up
as tall as before, and the cats left off fainting, and seemed
a good deal better.
Purse and ears are all in vain;
Seize upon him, O my train;
Set him to his work-you know-
For before I told you how.
Change his face to face of ass,
Work his ankles to one mass,"
said the King.
There was a dead silence for nearly twenty minutes.
Perrypets felt his face growing into an ass's face, and his
ankles getting very large and growing close together.
He tried to scream, but he could only bray; at least the
first noise he made was rather like an "Oh dear!" the
second was much more like a bray, and the third really
was a real He Haw." Luckily, he could still think in
words, not in bray, and he thought a great many Oh
dears!" and Oh, how dreadfuls!" but nothing did any
good at all.
44 HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
When his face was quite like an ass's face, he was
taken back to his cave. On the floor, he found a great
many drops of water running races. There was no
stream of water, but each drop was quite separate. As
soon as they had run from one end of the cave to the
other, they turned round and ran back again.
"Now," said the manikin who was with him, speaking
for the first time, and poking his finger into Perrypets'
eye, "you must fix these drops into the word Hana-
"Well, but I can't even say the word," said Perrypets,
and as to remembering it, I'm sure that's quite im-
The manikin only poked his other finger into Perry-
pets' other eye, and went away.
Perrypets now bitterly regretted that he had not
swallowed the adder. He ran after the drops of water,
however, and tried to fix them so as to form letters.
It was not so hard to catch them as he had feared, and
he really did make them form the two first letters,
like this, |Rj O, but his big ankle pushed them away,
and as fast as he put them back his ankle pushed
them away again. This really was too provoking! He
did not dare to cry, for fear of his tears mixing with
the other drops, or, perhaps, washing them away entirely;
so he sat down and determined to scream as loudly
as he could, in the hopes that somebody would hear
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
him. He was just going to begin, when, to his
great delight, the old voice said in his ear:-
"In a corner, pins you'll find,
If they hurt you-never mind."
Perrypets jumped up and ran into all the corners,
and in one he found a whole row of pins. They were
sitting very quietly sewing, and one was reading aloud,
'Reigns of the Grecian Pins,' but as soon as they saw
Perrypets, they all jumped up and stuck themselves
into his ankle. Perrypets did scream now as loudly
as he could. And so would you if five hundred bins
jumped into your ankles up to their very heads.
However, it was a great comfort to find that his
ankle grew quite small again. He was now able to
catch the drops of water and form them into letters.
Wonderful to relate, he remembered all the word, and
he had actually got as far as "Hanamanaranatanaba-
nafanapanado," when his own head, his ass's head,
pushed itself among them, and scattered them all over
the place again.
Poor Perrypets! The drops of water ran off to
their races, shouting for joy, and he sat down in utter
despair. He hoped the voice would come and tell
him what to do, but he listened in vain. At last he
remembered how easily his eye had come out, and he
thought that perhaps his head was only tied on. He
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS.
felt for the ribbons at the back, and, to his great
delight, there they were; he untied them, and instantly
his ass's head fell off, and his own little boy-head
came on again.
At the same moment, all the drops of water came
running up to him, and he found them quite ready
to be made into the right letters.
He had just finished the word, when the King and
all his manikins came in. As soon as they saw the
word quite right, and Perrypets dressed in his own
head and ankles, they all sank straight into the earth,
and the upright cats all fainted and sank in after them.
At the same moment, Perrypets found himself
standing in the forest again, quite free, and the little
Forget-me-not stood before him and held out her hand.
Come, and I will take you home," said she; I am
the Fairy of Flowers, and it is my voice that you have
heard so often. I helped you because you were a
good, kind little boy, and gave me bread when you
thought I was hungry. You shall be ten years older
directly, and a happy boy."
Perrypets was delighted, as you may suppose, and
he went home with her. He found that the Fire Man
had burnt his father's house quite down, and then
had burnt on into the ground, and had thrown up a
great many diamonds. Perrypets' father had taken
them all, and was now a very rich man, and was only
HISTORY OF PERRYPETS. 47
waiting to find Perrypets, to go back to their own old
Perrypets was very glad to get home again, and he
did not even mind his lessons. However, he grew
so much older directly, that he had not many lessons
to do; but whenever he had to do anything he did
not like, it was a great help to him to remember
how much he had suffered when he was lost in the
forest, especially when. he was flying through the air
on the backs of five hundred serpents.
Here ends the story of Perrypets.
TAYLOR AND CO., LITTLE QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.